Weekly Greeting: January 9

Good afternoon parish,

God’s grace be with you during this challenging week. Several in the congregation joined in prayer this past Friday at 1 pm for our nation and leaders. Throughout this week (M-F, 9 am to 12 n), the UMCA sanctuary will be open for any who wish to come to offer prayer for our nation, leaders and way forward. If you come, please observe pandemic guidelines with masks and 6-foot distances while on campus and avoid the Christian education wing since our in-house preschool will be meeting there.

There will be two worship service opportunities celebrating the Baptism of Jesus tomorrow: 8:30 am by zoom (invitation link will be sent to the parish contact list this afternoon) and 10 am (livestream from sanctuary/UMCA Facebook Page/You Tube/Website (www.auburnmethodist.org). It will also be broadcast on 88.3 FM to the church parking lot if any wish to come and listen to it there. Dvd copies can be made available upon request. I have attached an 8.5 X 11 inch version of the Worship Guide for any who wish to print a copy as a companion to the services. I have also attached copies of our latest Mission Opportunities and the 2021 UMCA Nominations/Leadership Roster (for your reference).

For those who wish to join, I have sent a zoom invitation link for our Sunday afternoon, 2 pm, coffee fellowship chat. I also want to invite interested folk to a couple of opportunities. One is a VISIONING conversation regarding UMC of Auburn’s next great adventure with God (Thursday, January 14, 6:30 pm, zoom/Let me know if you wish to have an invitation link). Second, Len Lednum has agreed to offer a technical support training for any who may wish to help from time to time with our livestream broadcast. It is scheduled for Saturday, January 16, 9:30 am, at the church. If you are willing to learn and assist in this way, please meet us at the church for the training.

One of the functions of a pastor, especially at times of crisis, is to serve as a Living Reminder of God’s presence–to calm the waves of fear and anxiety. In that spirit, I ask you to remember that God is indeed with us, as a church, as a community, as a nation, and as a global family. Many will be quick to assign ‘blame’ for what took place at our nation’s Capitol and for the escalating pandemic statistics, but I ask us to recognize and respect the frailty inherent in our own human condition. Many are afraid. Many are hurting, but we are ambassadors of healing, positioned by God for such a time as this. Let us listen to one another, perhaps especially to those who hold a different point of view than our own. Somewhere in the ‘in-between,’ there is an oasis of understanding, friendship and wholeness.
May peace be our way in the world…

Much joy and grace,
Pastor Steve Bascom